The Yankees are hanging on in the race just barely and yesterday was a big win. They got good performances from Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte, both of whom will be critical if the Yankees are going to go on the sort of run they need.
Sadly enough, Saturday’s starter, some guy named Pavano, will also be critical. Hughes is yet to put it together down in triple-A. Can a rotation that has Pavano, Rasner, and Ponson put together the kind of winning streak needed? It’s doubtful, but that’s why it is so critical that Pavano be somewhat reliable. Before the year is out one of them will likely be replaced by Joba (and maybe even Hughes, but that’s doubtful at this point) but that won’t be for a few weeks at least. Joba will likely start back in the bullpen to build up his arm again – so prepare yourself for another 700 articles about how Goose Gossage thinks Joba should stay there.
So can Pavano be reliable? I’m cautiously optimistic. The best sign, to me, was that he was able to strike out 5 in 5 innings, so his moderate success was not simply because the other team hit the ball at people.
Needless to say, his next start, in Yankee stadium, should be interesting.